Norman Lebrecht on shifting sound worlds
Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao on Mount Rushmore form the Backdrop to Frank Castorf’s Siegfried. More pictures here in Munich’s evening paper.
Photo: Enrico Nawarth/Bayreuth
A Brechtian approach perhaps? It would be interesting to see the whole concept.
I dunno, I don’t feel alienated enough yet.
The most spectacular is Walküre but they’re all pretty exceptional.
I was at the premiere of Rheingold and Aleksandar Denic’s set was fantastic.
I loved it. And the production was surprisingly cogent, too, even for a Castorf sceptic like myself.
Singers weren’t up to scratch, with Wotan and Loge in particular miscast.
But Kirill Petrenko promises to be a real find for Bayreuth.
There was a storm of booing at the end, of course. And Castorf’s staging doesn’t always work.
But the audience loved Petrenko and the singers.
If the next three parts turn out anything as exciting, this is going to be one helluva Ring.
“Aber man muss den Tag nicht vor dem Abend loben” (don’t count your chickens before they hatch)
Do people outside of Germany understand the post 45 german theatre and opera at all?
Why should that be a concern here?
No.And they don’t inside Germany,too,for that matter.They only pretend(actually very few!).It;s all like the Emperor”s New Clothes.
A Brechtian approach is about Epic Theater. Is that of no concern in UK?
Apparently Castorf’s direction in Denic’s setting is already thought provoking big time, without diverting from the storyline by creating only cheap scandals. That in itself is already an achievement these days.
I hope this Ring will bring a new inspirational interpretation, after many years of dull stagings here and there.
as an American i am appalled. But then again, after the story of the Wagner statue in Prague, why should i be surprised.
RIP DR. Friedheim
Have you ever wondered what Wagner productions would be if Germany had won the war? Valhalla certainly wouldn’t be Wall Street, as in this production. Perhaps it would be Hitler’s “Eagle’s Nest” (Kehlsteinhaus) above Berchtesgaden. Instead of a persiflage of Mt. Rushmore, we might be seeing people in bear skins with horned helmets on the Zugspitz. All the same, as in this production, Wotan would still be driving a Mercedes, even if not past run down motels on Route 66…
In any case, one can only wonder at the extravagance of opera stagings. What is it about opera that provokes such ostentation?
Only Marx, Lenin, Stalin and Mao?
Do you suppose Fidel and Che feel left out?
The first guy on the left is Verdi, not Marx.
Alberich, ” I drink your milkshake, Wotan”
The opera cycle is apparently about the evolution of beards.
full beard – handlebar+goatee – only handlebar – no beard
Two of the greatest mass murderers of all time up there! Why not add Pol Pot and Hitler for good measure?
Plus one of the ghastliest men who ever lived who led a blood-soaked revolution that enslaved millions.
The other guy just invented an economic system that just won’t work.
Interestingly, at a news conference today ahead of the opening of the festival, Castorf was asked why Hitler wasn’t one of the four heads in the “Mount Rushmore” line-up.
He replied that he had made a conscious decision not to make any explicit references to Hitler and the Nazis in his Ring, even if he had toyed with the idea of dressing Alberich’s slaves in Nibelheim in concentration camp garb, but ultimately rejected it.
“Ausfluege in andere Zusammenhaenge finde ich interessanter,” Castorf replied.
(“I find forays into other spheres of association Imore interesting.)
Author, novelist, broadcaster, cultural commentator.
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